Social Studies and the Young Learner

A Pocketful of History


--Sherry L. Field and Linda D. Labbo
Read a biography. Then examine "pocket contents." In Lincoln's vest pocket? A draft for a speech, theater tickets, and a photograph of his family, among other items. "Artifacts" are suggested for the pockets of Benito Juarez (president of Mexico), Grandma Moses (artist), Mary McLeod Bethune (black educator), and others.   --> read more »

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History Mystery Lessons: Powhatan Culture / Lewis & CLark


--Jana Kirchner and Carla Judd

The Pullout of the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of SSYL comprised two History Mystery Lessons: The first was about Powhatan culture, and included a clue sheet about life in a Native American village.

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Changing Faces: Your State Hero in the U.S. Capitol


--Dennis Denenberg
Each state has a statue of one of its notable citizens displayed in the U.S. Capitol. Learn about this collection, read your state hero's biography, and/or propose a new hero!

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Uncovering Immigrants’ Stories: It All Begins With Picture Books


--Andrea S. Libresco, Jeannette Balantic, and Jonie C. Kipling
To deepen students' thinking about immigration, the authors designed a gallery walk activity and an oral history interview that build upon the reading of children's literature.

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Rising Again: Recovering the Story of Louis Sockalexis


--J. Allen Bryant
Civil Rights Pioneers came from various ethnic groups, rose up in many settings, and fought over many decades. One of the greatest baseball players of all time was a Native American who lived from to 1871 to 1913. Historical context -- Keep in mind that the massacre at Wounded Knee occurred in 1890.

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National Day of Listening Comes to Midland, Michigan: A StoryCorps Project


--Ann Burke

NPR's StoryCorps can be a opportunity for students to conduct an oral history project, or interview people about their daily experiences, or survey opinions regarding a current event. This project involved team teaching.

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Dear César Chávez: Writing Persuasive Letters in the Sixth Grade


--Maggie Beddow
Students learn about a farm workers' union, its current struggles, and then write letters to Mr. Chavez.
Years later, their hand-written letters appear in lesson plans at the website of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation.

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From Geography Action to Civic Engagement: The Mesa Grande Ruins


--Carol C. Warren
Students learn about ancient people who lived in their area, the Hohokam, and then help to preserve the archaeological evidence.

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"Beyond Pilgrim Hats and Turkey Hands: Using Thanksgiving to Promote Citizenship and Activism"


--Erica M. Christie and Sarah E. Montgomery
The authors share four strategies to help teachers reinvigorate their Thanksgiving lessons with rich social studies content aimed at promoting citizenship and activism.

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